A Mrs Beeton recipe: Tomatoes, Stuffed, With Mushrooms

  • Post category:FoodHistoryReading
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Last year, I found a copy of Mrs Beeton’s Household Management in a secondhand book store, and snapped it up eagerly. It isn't obvious when it was printed. A previous owner wrote her name and the year 1944, but certain things made me believe this was already a few years old when…

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Ethan Frome food

  • Post category:Reading
  • Reading time:1 mins read

Reading descriptions of food in books is maybe one of my favourite things. I often read the descriptions two or three times, imagining how the combinations work and comparing the food to what I'm already familiar with. Recently I read a food description in Ethan Frome that was among the…

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Books and video games.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of playing Nintendo and Super Nintendo games with my brother, and making that long suburban walk to the arcade on summer afternoons. In high school and my early twenties, I dropped the hobby for a while mainly due to lack of a console…

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A 1971 frenemy

  • Post category:ReadingWriting
  • Reading time:2 mins read

One of Decca's favourite words. In a 1977 essay in the London Daily Mail (reprinted in the New York Times and later in Poison Penmanship), she wrote that "frenemy" (which she sometimes spelled "frienemy") was "an incredibly useful word that should be in every dictionary, coined by one of my sisters when she was…

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Decca and letters.

  • Post category:ReadingWriting
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Arrived back at Joan's just in time for dinner. To it came Doris Lessing (you know who she is, a best-selling English writer of the Angry Young school) . . . and, joy of joys, 12-year-old Peter Lessing, who had learned about Benjy's arrival and has planned his whole Easter…

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PD James interview

  • Post category:ReadingWriting
  • Reading time:1 mins read

But then one day, you know, I suddenly realized with an absolute shock that there never was going to be a convenient time, and that if I didn't make a beginning, I would be saying to my grandchildren, 'What I really wanted to be was a writer.' So I had…

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Mrs Beeton, and a recipe

  • Post category:HistoryReading
  • Reading time:4 mins read

A couple of months ago I stumbled upon my dream book in a secondhand book store. Despite the name, Mrs Beeton's Household Management isn't my dream book because I yearn for the upper echelons of hausfrauness or anything. I discovered an older version of the book in 2008, and since…

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